As part of our Sea Lions in San Francisco Program, Aquarium of the Bay present…

At Home Lessons

Looking for ways to learn and explore science topics with your kids during Shelter-in-Place?

You can continue learning at home through our free lesson plans for families with K-12th students. We have pulled out a few of our favorite activities for you and your students to do together at home. Please click the link to the right to download our packet of at home lessons.

Thank you to our Sea Lions in San Francisco sponsors:

Alaska Airlines
Chart House
At Home Lessons Download

First Grade Lessons + PDF Guide

  • Lesson 1: Living Things: River Otters
    Students explore the characteristics of living things and river otter adaptations through drawing and reading informational text.
  • Lesson 2: Effects of Pollution
    Students investigate the causes and impacts of pollution in rivers through experimentation.
  • Lesson 3: Letters from an Otter
    Students explore the impacts of pollution on wildlife by writing letters from an otter’s point of view.
  • Lesson 4: Reusing Recycled Material
    Students explore the idea of reducing, reusing, and recycling by creating a craft from reused materials.

Second Grade Lessons + PDF Guide

  • Lesson 1: Life Cycle Art
    Students explore the frog life cycle by reading informational text and creating an artistic representation of the frog life cycle.
  • Lesson 2: Freshwater Life Cycles
    Students explore the life cycles of frogs, salmon, and dragonflies.
  • Lesson 3: My Life as a Frog
    Students investigate the ecological interactions of and environmental impacts on frogs at each life cycle stage through an activity that models the frog life cycle.
  • Lesson 4: If the Water is Clear
    Students write creative writing pieces to describe the importance of taking care of freshwater habitats for both animals and people.

Third Grade Lessons + PDF Guide

  • Lesson 1: Coming Home
    Students explore salmon’s upstream migration and nest-building adaptations through building model salmon nests, or redds, and reading informational text.
  • Lesson 2: Salmon and Beavers
    Students explore the symbiotic ecological relationship between salmon and beavers by designing, building, and testing model beaver dams and reading informational text.
  • Lesson 3: Salmon Country
    Students explore the relationship between salmon and California First Nations by researching, writing, and editing a synthesis.
  • Lesson 4: Like Water for Salmon
    Students explore the idea of dietary water footprints, keep a food journal, and consider the impact of food choices on salmon and freshwater ecosystems.

Fourth Grade Lessons + PDF Guide

  • Lesson 1: What Is a Food Web?
    Students explore the concept of food webs by constructing a model of San Francisco Bay’s food web.
  • Lesson 2: Endangered Animal Scenario Timelines
    Students explore how natural and human-caused changes to the food web impact endangered species over time.
  • Lesson 3: Who Lives in My Backyard?
    Students will investigate local food webs through outdoor observation, data collection, and group discussion.
  • Lesson 4: Food Web Trivia
    Students demonstrate understanding of food web concepts through a class trivia game.

Fifth Grade Lessons + PDF Guide

  • Lesson 1: Seaweeds and Trees
    Students explore the similarities and differences between seaweeds and trees.
  • Lesson 2: Seaweed Discovery Lab
    Students investigate seaweeds and the role they play in everyday life in this hands-on lab.
  • Lesson 3: Disappearing Eelgrass Communities
    Students explore the ecology of San Francisco Bay eelgrass communities by modelling these ecosystems and collecting data.
  • Lesson 4: Why Protect Eelgrass Communities in San Francisco Bay?
    Students build a persuasive argument based on evidence to support the protection of eelgrass ecosystems in San Francisco Bay.

Sixth Grade Lessons + PDF Guide

  • Lesson 1: Shaping Our Land
    Students investigate watershed functions and dynamics by constructing a watershed model and researching rivers.
  • Lesson 2: A Wonderful Watershed
    Students investigate the San Francisco Bay’s watershed through modelling and reading informational text.
  • Lesson 3: Humans and the Watershed
    Students explore the human relationship with San Francisco Bay’s watershed, focusing on freshwater diversions.
  • Lesson 4: Human Impact Analysis
    Students explore the impact of water diversions on San Francisco Bay’s watershed by analyzing real freshwater flow data provided by The Bay Institute.

Seventh Grade Lessons + PDF Guide

  • Lesson 1: Family Matters
    Students explore the classification of sea lions and other pinnepeds by creating a classification chart of phocids, otariids, and odobenids.
  • Lesson 2: The Food Web Game
    Students investigate the California sea lion ecology by modelling the food web and exploring the ecological relationships therein.
  • Lesson 3: Sea Lion Inquiry
    Students investigate local sea lion populations by gathering, analyzing, and sharing data.
  • Lesson 4: Ban the Bag
    Students explore ways communities can protect sea lions and other marine life by limiting or eliminating single-use plastics.

Eighth Grade Lessons + PDF Guide

  • Lesson 1: Temperature and Salinity Investigation
    Students explore the connections between temperature, salinity, and density through an investigation layering different types of water.
  • Lesson 2: Temperature, Salinity, and Density 101
    Students explore the mathematical connection among water’s temperature, salinity, and density by interpreting graphs, completing calculations, and supporting claims with evidence.
  • Lesson 3: Forming and Melting Ice
    Students explore how water’s salinity changes during phase change and the impacts of climate change on land and sea ice through two hands-on investigations and discussion.
  • Lesson 4: Climate Change and the Global Conveyor Belt
    Students explore how the climate-change-driven melting of land and sea ice impacts the global thermohaline conveyor belt through informational reading and composition. Students consider how humans can have both positive and negative impacts on the global environment.’

High School Biology Lessons + PDF Guide

  • Lesson 1: Interdependence in the Farallones
    Students investigate interdependent relationships in ecosystems using the Farallon Islands as a case study. Students construct a food web diagram using resources provided and explore relationships in the Farallon Island food web.
  • Lesson 2: Human Impact and Sustainable Seafood
    Students investigate the role that humans play in maintaining or disrupting ecosystem functions by exploring positive and negative impacts that different fishing methods have on marine ecosystems.
  • Lesson 3: Marine Protected Areas
    Students investigate the important role that marine protected areas can play in preserving marine ecosystems through content reading, activities, and critical thinking.
  • Lesson 4: Protecting the Great White Shark
    Students investigate the important ecological role great white sharks fill on the California coast by creating a proposal for protecting great white sharks.

High School Chemistry Lessons + PDF Guide

  • Lesson 1: Acids, Bases, and Our Oceans
    Students investigate how the pH of seawater is changing due to climate change through experimentation and balancing chemical equations.
  • Lesson 2: The Chemistry of Ocean Acidification
    Students investigate the chemistry of ocean acidification through classroom discussion and exploring the chemical reactions involved in the acidification process.
  • Lesson 3: Oceans Absorbing Our Carbon
    Students investigate the sources and impacts of carbon pollution in marine ecosystems by calculating their carbon footprints and observing the effects of dry ice on water.
  • Lesson 4: Calcification in a Changing Ocean
    Students investigate how ocean acidification impacts marine organisms’ ability to build calcium carbonate structures through modelling and experimentation.

Marine Debris Prevention Lessons + PDF Guide

  • Lesson 1: Trash Timeline
    Students build a decomposition timeline for different types of trash.
  • Lesson 2: Do Science: Data Collection
    Students participate in a schoolyard or park cleanup and collect data on the types of trash collected.
  • Lesson 3: The Story of Trash
    Students consider where marine debris comes from by following the story of a piece of trash from creation to disposal.
  • Lesson 4: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
    Students explore different ways to prevent marine debris.